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BIOGRAPHY

A graduate of King’s College London and the Royal Academy of Music (DipRAM), Jonathan McGovern is the recipient of the Second Prize at the 2011 Kathleen Ferrier Awards, the Gold Medal and First Prize at the Royal Over-Seas League Annual Music Competition in 2010, the Karaviotis Prize at the 2011 Les Azuriales Competition and the Jean Meikle Duo Prize at the 2011 Wigmore Hall/Kohn Foundation International Song Competition, where he was also a finalist. Jonathan is a former Britten-Pears Young Artist and an Associate Artist with Classical Opera.

Engagements in 2013/14 include his return to ENO as Polyneices in Julian Anderson’s world premiere The Thebans, the role of Adam in a staged version of Haydn’s The Creation for Vocal Futures at the Ambika P3 in London, the St John Passion with Winchester Music Club, a recording of Marc-Antoine Charpentier’s Le Reniement de Saint Pierre (Jesus) with David Bates and La Nuova Musica for Harmonia Mundi USA, a recital at the Wigmore Hall with the Kirckman Concert Society, the title role in Il ritorno d’Ulisse with Iford Arts under Christian Curnyn and Junior in A Quiet Place with Ensemble Modern under Kent Nagano at the Konzerthaus Berlin, and on tour around Europe in 14/15.

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REVIEWS

“The cast was dominated by Chritopher Purves’ and Jonathan McGovern’s tortured portrayals, respectively, of Sam and Junior.” (Carlos Maria Solare, Opera, March 2014)

“… the excellent singers, among them a particularly lovely Adam and Eve from Jonathan McGovern and Charlotte Beament….” (Neil Fisher, The Times, December 2013)

“Claudia Boyle (Dede), Jonathan McGovern (Junior) and Christopher Purves (Sam) sing impressively.” (Peter Uehling, Berliner Zeitung, November 2013)

“The Konzerthaus performance shows that the new version for chamber orchestra is an excellent idea, though it has to be said that we were spoilt with a cast, conductor and ensemble which could not have been bettered. Also from a theatrical point of view. Although dressed in concert attire, the soloists left a shattering mark on the audience with their portrayal of a damaged family: above all the young baritone Jonathan McGovern.” (Matthias Nöther, Berliner Morgenpost, November 2013)

“Jonathan McGovern delivered an accomplished performance, both vocally and dramatically, of Junior’s pathological outbursts.” (Ursula Wiegand, Der Neue Merker, November 2013)

“Jonathan McGovern, the ardent-voiced lost IT man, was a real discovery. A sudden change of mood and pace occurred when McGovern's character, Simon, sings a lament for his baby, a cot death victim. This was a powerful aria: one of opera's most traditional ingredients leapt out of all the hypertech and cyberworld frippery and ambushed us completely, no 3D specs required. Yearning and weeping, his suffering was all the more piercing for its control and lyricism.”  (Fiona Maddocks, The Guardian, April 2013, on English National Opera's production of Sunken Garden)

"The opera’s three live singers were superb. Two singers on film, Jonathan McGovern and Kate Miller-Heidke, were equally compelling. Mr. McGovern was a heartbreaking Simon. (Steve Smith, The New York Times, April 2013)

"McGovern brings an earnest beauty to everything he sings." (Roderic Dunnett, The Arts Desk, March 2013)

"Jonathan McGovern sounded superb in the tiny part of Yamadori." (Opera Magazine, July 2012)

"[...] while Jonathan McGovern made much of Prince Yamadori’s brief role, offering sincerity and a fine rounded tone." (Opera Britannia, May 2012)

"What makes him special? Not just his beautifully focused and warmly virile voice, matched to great musical sensitivity, but also that rarest of attributes – an instantly winning and communicative personality." (The Telegraph, January 2012)

"Others making their mark included Jonathan McGovern, whose Sid was spledidly sung and acted." (Opera Magazine, January 2012)

"McGovern's baritone rang out strong and clear. . . [In] Dover Beach, McGovern established a more sombre presence now, imbuing the lyrical, unfolding vocal lines with emotional depth and sensitivity. . .McGovern's commitment to the text was sustained and intense, as he sought to do justice to the composer's detailed word painting, without over-emphasis or undue theatricality. . . maintained a quiet intensity throughout. . .[In] 'An die Geliebte'...McGovern achieved a rapt intensity here, the silvery tone of his upper range wonderfully capturing the shimmer of the glistening nocturnal sky." (Opera Today, Dec 2011)

"'...dragging cosy Jubilee Hall kicking and screaming into the new studio space Mears was at once looking to a future exemplified by Jonathan McGovern’s slick, vaguely rocker-boy, Sid (quite the star of the show not least from a vocal point of view)." (The Independent, October 2011)

"'Everyone else was barely out of college but delivering some seriously accomplished performances – especially Jonathan McGovern's Sid and Maria Friselier's Nancy.'" (The Telegraph, October 2011)

"'Three baritones were first class:.... Even stronger was the incisive, commanding Jonathan McGovern, 25, who sang Britten's 'Billy in the Darbies' from Billy Budd with blazing sincerity and infused a Rachmaninov song with palpitating passion... I would have plumped for McGovern as winner..." (The Telegraph, May 2011)

"Binding and offsetting this principal group are a pool of smaller roles, from which Jonathan McGovern's chameleon baritone stood out - or rather he didn't, decorously sublimating himself into his functional roles, including the voice of the Chinese father-puppet." (Framescourer, March 2011)